Leading with Excellence

As the umbrella organization for the Jewish community of Greater New Haven, the Jewish Federation's investments in staff development are designed to benefit the community as a whole. Most recently Amy Holtz, Jewish Federation Chief Development Officer and Derek Holodak, Jewish Federation's Programming and Development Associate, were accepted to highly selective national programs that will enhance their capacity to serve our community.       

Their stories are bellow:


Amy Holtz Accepted to Fundraising University

Fundraising University is an intensive year-long program of the JFNA Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence in partnership with JFNA’s Philanthropic Resources department. It was created to help a select cohort of top professionals improve their managerial, development and leadership skills. The cohort of only 21 professionals from around the country will work with top mentors within and outside of the organization and will travel to Israel as part of their educational journey. 

Jewish Federation CEO Judy Alperin commented that “it is no surprise that Amy Holtz was selected after participating in a highly competitive process. Amy has already demonstrated her great skill and potential to drive our development efforts. Fundraising University will provide her with the tools, knowledge and cohort of colleagues to help her take us to the next level.” Alperin, a Fundraising University graduate of the inaugural cohort takes extra pride in this accomplishment. 

As the Chief Development Officer for Federation, Holtz overseas all fundraising efforts in the organization, which in 2018 raised nearly $4 million. Amy sees her mission as “raising funds for our community while engaging as many people as possible in the activities of the JCC and Federation”. When asked why she does what she does, Amy goes back to her Jewish upbringing and to values taught at home by her parents. 

“My parents were committed leaders and deeply involved with their local Jewish community. They taught us at a young age that as Jews we are commanded to perform acts of Tikkun Olum (repairing the world). We all need to take care of each other, now more than ever.”


Derek Holodak: Young Adult Fellowship 

Derek Holodak, Programming and Development Associate, has been accepted to the second cohort of the Next Gen Jewish Federation Fellows through the Jewish Federations of North America. Acceptance into this highly competitive program reflects Derek’s professional talent, potential and commitment to deepening his own Jewish enrichment and leadership skills while also participating in a community of practice with colleagues who share interest in engaging the next generation actively and proudly in Jewish life. 

This is an 18 month-long program which includes leadership coaching and learning as well as professional mentoring and a capstone project to benefit our Federation. Derek was nominated for the program as a result of his work with our NextDor group which represents the next generation of Jewish Leadership. It is comprised of young professionals and young families making connections with both old and new friends to volunteer, network and learn more about their Jewish heritage. 

His supervisor, Amy Holtz, says “I have had the pleasure of learning about Derek’s background as a former resident at Moishe House and creating interesting programs to engage Jewish millennials. 

In his role as the NextDor Coordinator, Derek has formed partnerships with the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University, UConn Hillel (and their alumni association), and One Table. Derek identifies and engages with young adults in this community. He has built relationships that foster a sense of community and partnership and has done well in educating young adults about Federation. 

Derek’s warm personality welcomes newcomers with ease and comfort. Mazel tov to Derek on his acceptance in this program. We look forward to the positive impact this will have on our community.

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